We’ve been riding a Rollercoaster of storm currents when it comes to fishing in Puerto Vallarta. Right now to find fish, you have to follow the bait. And they’re riding the currents. With changing storm currents this means fish right now are spread out from Yelapa to El Banco. We had a Hurricane pass us last week and for a few days Sailfish and Marlin were pushed into the area. Then we got hit with some heavy rains, which of course means plenty of dirty water washing down the rivers which dumped into the bay. Dirty water pretty much, at the moment this article was written, was in most of the bay, and any fishing grounds that would be normally associated with an eight hour trip. Sounds kinda negative now doesn’t it. This is when you have to turn your head and look in a different direction. Open you mind and think like a fish. What would you do if you were a fish in our local waters?
This year, the fishing has been strange. Especially Puerto Vallarta’s world famous fishing grounds. Last week we had many of our favorite summer species, Dorado, Yellowfin Tuna and Sailfish to mention a few. They all came in fast and hungry. The bait remained, but the different species have either moved on or have thinned out in number by spreading out across all of PV’s fishing grounds. Bass are still around, kinda strange with warm water temperatures in the bay. It’s a “La Nina” year, which means the normal conditions are anything but. We’ve seen summer species in the area now for months, when normally they wouldn’t be. Dorado are a perfect example. We’ve been dealing with this for about a year now, but things will be changing. The only question is how and when?
Normally at this time of the year we don’t talk much about “breeding” fish. But normally we don’t have to deal with La Nina. Normally we don’t have species like Dorado in the area in the middle of “winter” fishing, even though It’s Spring. So much of the frustration we’re seeing in our fishing season is from species that “shouldn’t be here”. We all know it’s a “mixed up season”. So the locals are full of eggs and we have to deal with that. The good news is Jack Crevalles are taking bait again. Dorado that are here are still fickle, but beginning to take surface baits. Striped Marlin and Sailfish, again two species that are either “super early” for their normal season are showing signs of taking bait. With strange water temperatures and currents, species that shouldn’t “be” here, are because of La Nina, it can be hard to figure out. But the silver lining is the bay fishing is incredible with smaller species, like normal. And as the remaining Whales filter out, the near future for fishing in Puerto Vallarta is looking better by the day!
We’re finally seeing some changes for the positive when it comes to fishing in Puerto Vallarta. Water temperatures are holding. Striped Marlin and Sailfish are still off Punta Mita and most of the deep water fishing grounds are “on vacation” until further notice. But it’s March, the time of the year we normally start to see Sailfish return to the area. You may say “Sailfish, they’ve been here since before December”. And you’d be correct, but they shouldn’t have been frankly. I understand why visitors to Puerto Vallarta (PV) hoping to catch a billfish or Yellowfin Tuna. The only problem with that is, they’re on the wrong side of the calendar. Strangely Enough we can still provide a “Shot” at a Sailfish or Striped Marlin, which in itself is a strange thing. As fisherman/women we always deal the cards dealt. Right now Corbetena or El Banco are on vacation until further notice.
Right now your best bang for your fishing dollar is six hours in the bay. Bonito averaging 20 lbs, Jack Crevalles to 50 lbs, Sierra Mackerals are the equivalent of Ocean Trout, plentiful but no larger than 10 lbs. We’re still seeing the occasional Dorado, but with thirty boats heading out, maybe 2 Dorado boated. Which means they’re out there, but it probably won’t be you catching it! A couple of tricks you might want to try is using a downrigger, which seems to be working. The other is use light leader. Many of these guys, local Captains use heavy fluorocarbon leader of 80 to 125 lbs. When fishing for smaller gamefish, it’s like connecting a minnow to T.V. Cable! Drop your leader to 40 or 50 lbs and you’ll have better results. Keep these secrets to yourself.
Strangely enough we’re in the third week of the “Bubble”. It’s strange, but this freak situation of warm water hanging off the point of Punta Mita continues. Water temperatures seem to have stabilize a bit for the moment. Massive bait in the form of Squid and Red Crabs are all around the area as our yearly transition period continues. With plenty of action, everyone fishing in Puerto Vallarta right now are getting their fill of action. If you’re looking for Billfish or just a family day on the water, we’ve got you covered!
It looks like change is coming. Water temperatures have dropped drastically this week. Water is dirty, not unusual but very late in the season. Dorado is the dominant species right now but with lower water temperatures things could change soon. With changing currents this will bring the dirty water and the cooler water temperatures. It’s very early in the season for a drop of this magnitude, obviously this is the result of La Nina. It’s interesting that when the water temps dropped, the whales showed up. Also there are a few whales in the bay now. So things are changing, but the fishing surprising enough is still pretty good.
It’s a “life is a box of Chocolates” sort of situation now when it comes to fishing in Puerto Vallarta. It can be hot and then cold, then hot again. We need to remember that fish move and you need to be prepared to chase the birds. If you’re stuck on a boat that won’t use fuel, then you picked the wrong company to fish with. The fact of the matter is you will catch fish, right here, right now! Dorado are averaging over 20 lbs, Sailfish are picking daily in numbers, Marlin, Tuna, maybe even Rooster Fish. With plenty of varied bait there isn’t any problems making bait. Water Temperatures are a bit lower than we like at this time of the year, but still in the “normal” range. Blue water and smooth seas. What more could you want?
Two weeks ago I was a little scared that we may have seen our best fishing of the year with the announcement of La Nina. Water temps dropped like a rock and the fish bugged out after Pamela. Last week we had an improvement with some Dorado showing up in good numbers. But now, the Krill don’t seem to be an issue, but they’re still around. Bait is abundant if the form of Skipjack Tuna (aka Skippies). Goggle Eyes, Green Runners, Flying fish, you name it. Marlin moved back in, Yellowfin Tuna aren’t huge but they’re 60 lbs and the story just starts there. For those presently in PV and looking to go fishing, now would be a good time to “break the bank” or sneak out with the wifeys credit card. It’s ok, you can blame me, it wouldn’t be the first time!
If you’re an experienced captain, you’re very excited about the near perfect water and fishing conditions. You’re also pulling your hair out because we do have fish, but we also still have massive amounts of Krill in the form of Squid and Shrimps. Krill, aka Whale Food is in the area about a month early. Which means all the “locals” are stuffing themselves on some gourmet baits amigo. But, of course that’s not all, we have cooling water temperatures! Why, well last Thursday La Nina officially began and we’re seeing some swift “fish” reactions. So that’s the story this week, cooling water, massive Krill and everything with “Gills” and fins are chowing down. Welcome to “Lucky” fishing.